Many of you might be looking for ways to maintain a healthy weight. True that eating healthy food is the key to lose weight, but it is also important to eat the right food in the right quantities. Cutting down the intake of calories is one of the easiest ways to stop gaining weight. In fact, eating just a hundred calories more every day can lead to gaining almost ten pounds a year, but if you daily eat a hundred calories less than usual, you will lose ten pounds in a year.
What Is The Recommended Calorie Intake?
The dietary guidelines differ for people according to their age, sex, and BMI (Body Mass Index). However, an average dietary recommendation on calories has been made by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the calorie intake should be the following:
- An adult man generally needs 2000 to 3000 calories every day, while an adult woman needs 1600 to 2400 calories daily. The more sedentary your lifestyle is, the lower you should go on the calorie scale.
- Adolescents require 1,400 to 3,200 calories daily. Adolescent boys generally need more calories than adolescent girls.
- Children are recommended to have anywhere between 1,000 to 2,000 calories every day.
Read on to learn 10 ways you can reduce your calorie intake and still enjoy eating healthy and delicious food.
1. Change The Way You Cook
Changing your methods of cooking can help you cut a hundred calories easily. All you need to do is use low-salt chicken broth instead of oil or butter so that the chicken and vegetables do not stick to the pan. You can also use cooking spray to cook food. One tablespoon of oil has almost 120 calories, so keeping a check on your oil intake is a good way to cut calories.
2. Choose Your Beverages Well
Water is always the best drink. However, if you are looking to avoid soda, sugary drinks, and sweet teas, choose zero-calories beverages. Cut down on sugar-free beverages as well as they contain ten calories per eight ounces. Most of the sugar-free beverages are sixteen ounces each, which means that drinking even five bottles a day can add up to almost 100 calories.
3. Watch Out For Coffees
Although those fancy coffee drinks might look tempting to you, watch out for them. Cutting down the Frappuccino and choosing to have a regular cup of coffee can help you lose 100 calories or even more. Just use stevia or a zero-calorie sweetener and avoid adding sugar as much as possible. Three packets of sugar equal 33 calories. So, just three cups of coffee with enough sugar can help you reach up to 100 extra calories.
4. Use Applesauce For Baking
Instead of oil or butter in the recipe, use applesauce for baking. This will help you save even more than 100 calories. If you make pancakes, avoid using oil. Just use a nonstick pan and prevent your pancakes from sticking. This way, leaving the oil out will not affect the taste of your food.
5. Check Your Portions
Those large packs of French fries, huge glasses of sodas, and a large burger leave you full for a long time, but you often do not consider how much you have eaten. The National Institutes of Health says that a typical muffin was just 1.5 ounces and 210 calories until twenty years ago. Today, it is almost 4 ounces and 500 calories. Just two slices of pepperoni pizzas are almost 850 calories.1 Cut down on pizzas and muffins and choose a 3-ounce bagel instead of a 4-ounce one. You will surely save yourself from taking in too many calories.
6. Say No To Cheese
Do not add those cheese slices in your burgers and sandwiches. Instead of getting a sub or a hamburger delivered, make your own sandwich at home and avoid using cheese. This will help you cut down on 100 calories very easily.
7. Avoid These Condiments
Watch out for those little cream toppings and sauces that often look harmless. Just one tablespoon serving of mayonnaise contains almost 100 calories, and often, people tend to take a couple of more servings of mayonnaise. Avoid using cream cheese spread in your sandwiches and bagels as it is calorie-dense too. You can easily replace these condiments with low-fat whipped cream cheese. Whipping the cream alone reduces calories and low-fat or fat-free cream have even fewer calories.
8. Beware Of Dips And Dressings
Salad dressings and dips might seem healthy but can make your dishes dense with calories. Use salad dressings after you measure them to cut down your calories. You can replace your dressings with vinaigrette for less calorie intake and better flavor. Dips like sour cream and cheesy dips too can be replaced with pesto and hummus.
9. Enjoy Smart Substitutes
Learn to make smart substitutions for your favorite calorie-dense foods. Switch to skim milk instead of full cream milk, wheat crackers instead of butter crackers, fried chicken with grilled chicken, yogurt instead of ice cream, and so on. Make it a habit to find your own low-calorie substitutions and enjoy them well.
10. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Drink responsibly as alcohol can be a source of a high number of hidden calories. As per the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture, a moderate amount of drinking for women is up to 1 drink per day and for men, up to 2 drinks per day.2 Following this standard of drinking will benefit your health greatly and also keep a check on how many calories you are taking in.
Tips To Maintain A Healthy Weight
Apart from watching how and what you eat, remember to exercise daily. This doesn’t mean you are bound to run on the treadmill or lift heavy dumbbells all the time. Also, learn the fact that your hormones could be deceiving you. Watch out for hormones imbalances as they can make you sick and overweight without you realizing it.
How To Enjoy Exercising
- Walk to the supermarket or to work (if your office is located within 4 km.)
- Practice yoga for at least half an hour every day.
- If you have a dog, take it out for a walk every day.
- Play your favorite outdoor sport every day.
- Go jogging at the nearest community park.
- Choose a workout partner to make gym hours interesting.
How To Keep Hormones In Check
- Eat high-fiber, low-sugar, and whole foods.
- Hydrate yourself often.
- Exercise well and regularly.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Meditate daily to keep stress away.
- Check with your doctor before taking hormone pills and/or birth control.
- Take a doctor’s help whenever you feel is necessary.
Apart from making the necessary changes to your food habits, you need to exercise and have regular health checks to screen for hormone imbalances. This way you will always be able to maintain your health and your weight.
|↑1||Do You Know How Food Portions Have Changed in 20 Years? https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/portion/documents/PD2.pdf. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑2||Drinking Levels Defined. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/moderate-binge-drinking. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.|